If there’s one couple who truly deserved an all-expenses paid wedding of their dreams, it’s Mary Stanton Coltrane and Matthew Mills.
Let me back up here real quick. Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel opened its doors in November 2017, which is how I first became involved with some of the work they were doing. Yellow Duck Marketing, who I work with a lot, was doing their PR prior to opening, and asked me to help plan the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Fast forward to February, 2018, when the hotel reached back out to me to ask if I’d like to help plan a wedding reception for one lucky Charlotte couple who wouldn’t have to pay a dime for their dream day. Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel wanted to showcase a local couple who had triumphed through tough times and give them a day they deserved. I was immediately on board.
Couples in the Charlotte area submitted their own personal stories to the Kimpton Love Conquers All wedding giveaway contest. They had to show how they had overcome a significant challenge together. The hotel narrowed the contest down to 3 individuals who the public then voted for.
Now, meet Mary and Matthew. This pair are high school sweethearts from Greensboro and are probably one of the cutest couples I’ve ever met. They got engaged in December 2017 after 9 years together - yeah, total swoon.
But some tough issues came for the couple a few months before they got engaged. In March 2017, Mary was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy, after which a scan showed the cancer was still active. The best shot to cure her was a stem cell transplant involving new chemotherapy and a 3 week stay in the isolation wing of the hospital.
Even after 9 years together, that’s a lot for a couple to go through together, but Mary and Matthew made it out the other side even stronger. Mary is currently in remission and has been since early 2018, but all the medical expenses were a major financial strain for the couple who wanted to plan a wedding. When they saw the Kimpton Love Conquers All wedding giveaway, they entered and ultimately won!
I was one of many incredible vendors who volunteered their services on August 24 to help Mary and Matthew have a celebration of their love and triumphs in front of 100 family members and friends at the hotel. It was absolutely gorgeous.
My primary role with the wedding was the reception, including set up, vendor coordination and run of show. It was my typical month-of wedding planning service, though I also helped them set up some tastings and with a few recommendations.
Because of the story of resilience behind this wedding, it was an incredible honor to be a part of it. For it being a giveaway, it was an absolutely stunning event, and there were very few issues. A word to the wise: if you’re a wedding planner or even a maid of honor, make sure you have very strong safety pins with you. Mary’s bustle broke and we were able to get it, but I was kicking myself for not having something stronger with me.
Once again, congratulations to Mary and Matthew on a beautiful wedding that will hopefully carry through to a wonderful marriage!
Piper Warlick Photography – Photography
Celestial Cakery – Wedding Cake
Lovely by Lindsey – Hair & Makeup
CLUX Florals – Florals
CLUX Rentals – Rentals
Viri Lovely Designs – Stationery
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